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Smart Watch-Sporting Males Pass on Mobile Apps

Males rule for smart watch ownership, lag females in mobile app usage

July 16, 2015

Some items in the wearables category have followed a nontraditional trajectory of adoption, with populations other than young males latching on. But for smart watches, the earliest adopters look even more young and male than usual, based on research from Resonate conducted last year, before the Apple Watch had come to market.

Types of Mobile Apps Used by US Adult Smart Watch Owners, by Gender, Oct 2014 (% of respondents in each group)

Among the smart watch owners Resonate polled in October, nearly two-thirds were men (63%), and a solid majority were under age 35, including 26% ages 18 to 24. Just 12% of people with smart watches were ages 45 and older.

Respondents were also far more likely to be white than any other race or ethnicity, and tended to have substantial household incomes. More than one in three had a household income of $100,000 or more each year, with another 20% making between $75,000 and $100,000. Only around one in five made $50,000 or less annually.

However, the overwhelmingly male population of smart watch users is also less likely than their female counterparts to use most types of mobile apps. Resonate asked smart watch users about their use of apps overall—not just on a watch—and while a majority of female respondents selected five app categories, no single category was used by 50% or more of male respondents. Games and sports came close, at 49% each, followed by social networking (47%).

So far, estimates of smart watch adoption vary widely, though all firms do predict dramatic growth in the category in the coming years.

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